Palace Theatre, (9/15/1977 - 12/31/1977)

First Preview: Sep 13, 1977
Opening Date: Sep 15, 1977
Closing Date: Dec 31, 1977
Total Previews: 3
Total Performances: 124

Category: Musical, Drama, Revival, Broadway
Description: Suggested by the life and works of Miguel de Cervantes y Saavedra.
Setting: A dungeon in Seville, at the end of the 16th century and various places in the imagination of Miguel de Cervantes.

Opening Night Production Staff

Theatre Owned / Operated by The Messrs. Nederlander

Produced by Eugene V. Wolsk

Written by Dale Wasserman; Music by Mitch Leigh; Lyrics by Joe Darion; Based on the novel by Miguel de Cervantes; Musical Director: Robert Brandzel; Music arranged by Carlyle W. Hall, Sr.

Directed by Albert Marre; Musical Staging by Albert Marre

Scenic Design by Howard Bay; Costume Design by Patton Campbell and Howard Bay; Lighting Design by Howard Bay

Company Manager: Chuck Eisler

Production Stage Manager: Patrick Horrigan; Stage Manager: Gregory Allen Hirsch

Guitarist: Robin Polseno; Musical Coordinator: Earl Shendell

Assistant to the Director: Gregory Allen Hirsch; National Press Representative: John A. Prescott; National Advertising: The Blaine Thompson Company

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Opening Night Cast

Richard KileyDon Quixote (Cervantes)
Tony MartinezSancho Panza
Emily YancyAldonza (Dulcinea)
Renato CibelliCaptain of the Inquisition
Margret ColemanThe Housekeeper
Harriett ConradAntonia
Ted ForlowThe Barber
a Muleteer
Taylor ReedThe Padre
Ian SullivanDr. Carrasco
Bob WrightThe Innkeeper
Anthony De VecchiPaco
a Muleteer
Marceline DeckerMaria
the Innkeeper's Wife
Mark HollidayJuan
a Muleteer
Héctor MercadoThe Mule
a Muleteer
Chev RodgersPedro
the Head Muleteer
Michael St. PaulGuard
Joan SussweinFermina
a Slave and a Moorish Dancer
Moorish Dancer
Ben VargasThe Horse
a Muleteer
Edmond VarratoJorge
a Muleteer
David WassonFernando
a Muleteer

Standby: Edmond Varrato (Sancho Panza)

Understudies: Renato Cibelli (The Innkeeper), Anthony De Vecchi (Pedro, The Horse, The Mule), Marceline Decker (The Housekeeper), Mark Holliday (Anselmo, The Padre), Michael St. Paul (Captain of the Inquisition), Joan Susswein (Aldonza (Dulcinea), Antonia), Kay Vance (Fermina, Maria, Moorish Dancer), Edmond Varrato (The Barber) and David Wasson (Dr. Carrasco, The Padre)

Awards and Nominations

Drama Desk Award

 1978 Outstanding Actor in a Musical [nominee] 

Richard Kiley


music by Mitch Leigh; lyrics by Joe Darion

ACT 1 Sung By
Man of La Mancha (I, Don Quixote)Don Quixote (Cervantes), Sancho Panza and Horses
It's All the SameAldonza (Dulcinea) and Muleteers
DulcineaDon Quixote (Cervantes)
I'm Only Thinking of HimThe Padre, Antonia, The Housekeeper and Dr. Carrasco
I Really Like HimSancho Panza
What Does He Want of Me?Aldonza (Dulcinea)
Little Bird, Little BirdAnselmo (a Muleteer) and Muleteers
Barber's SongThe Barber
Golden Helmet of MambrinoDon Quixote (Cervantes), Sancho Panza, The Barber and Muleteers
To Each His Dulcinea (To Every Man His Dream)The Padre
The Impossible Dream (The Quest)Don Quixote (Cervantes)
The CombatDon Quixote (Cervantes), Aldonza (Dulcinea), Sancho Panza and Muleteers
The Dubbing/Knight of the Woeful CountenanceThe Innkeeper, Aldonza (Dulcinea) and Sancho Panza
The AbductionAldonza (Dulcinea) and Muleteers
Moorish DanceEnsemble
AldonzaAldonza (Dulcinea)
The Knight of the MirrorsEnsemble
A Little GossipSancho Panza
Dulcinea (Reprise) Aldonza (Dulcinea)
Man of La Mancha (I, Don Quixote) (Reprise) Don Quixote (Cervantes)
The PsalmThe Padre
The Impossible Dream (The Quest) (Reprise) Entire Company


New York Daily News: "Dream again"

Just as the late Zero Mostel was the definitive Tevye, the vigorous Richard Kiley is the true possessor of the title role in "Man of La Mancha," which returned last night at the Palace in mostly excellent condition.

Kiley, somewhat along the lines of Yul Brynner as the King of Siam, has grown into the role since he created it a dozen years back. He cuts a superb figure as the imprisoned Cervantes who, in order to prevent the murderers and thieves who are his fellow inmates from burning his precious manuscript in the filthy late 16th century dungeon, acts out the fantastic tale of the Knight of the Woeful Countenance with their help. And no one else should ever be permitted to sing the score's musical centerpiece, "The Impossible Dream." He alone can bring this war-horse, a piece so capable of producing shudders, to life.

Appearing with Kiley, who is said to have hand-picked his supporting cast from the various companies he has played with over the years' is the beautifully ripened Emily Yancy, who is both dynamic and touching in the dual role (matching the star's Cervantes-Quixote) of Alondonza Dulcinea, kitchen slut and dream lady. Miss Yancy's contribution is of great help to this two-hour, intermissionless evening.

Other pleasing performances come from Tony Martinez as Sancho Panza, Taylor Reed as the padre and Bob Wright as the innkeeper. Howard Bay's moody setting, lighting and costumes, which the latter collaborated on with Patton Campbell, remain perfect examples of theater design and vital to the enterprise. But the late Jack Cole's name is missing from the program, and though his tense and individual choreography appears to have been followed in most respects, there is a slackness to the dance routines. In particular, the muleteers' dance, the rape scene modestly referred to as "The Abduction," seemed tame, though it was always merely a suggestive diversion.

Even though "Man of La Mancha" left us only a half-dozen years or so ago, and has returned since, its holes already appear to grow larger. Dale Wasserman's book is serviceable enough, but Mitch Leigh's score, in spite of affecting moments, was not - never could be - equal to the profundities of "Don Quixote" that inevitably leaped at us even through this commercially distilled version. There are moments, indeed, when the musical Cervantes becomes trifling to the point of tedium. Joe Darion's lyrics carry out the pattern for better or worse. Again, the orchestra, its sound controlled from a console at the rear of the house, is divided in half, the percussion coming from a box to one side of the stage and the rest from one on the opposite side. Eventually, there is a monotony to the continually looping, flamenco-like rhythms.

Albert Marre has once again attended to the staging, which is first-rate. The musical director (a spotlighted Leigh led the Overture himself opening night) is Robert Brandzel.

The show is scheduled for 12 weeks and is certainly worth a visit for those who have never seen it. Though it bites off more than it can ever hope to chew, it is still an unusual and aspiring Broadway musical, and Kiley and Miss Yancy are tops.

New York Daily News

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